By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Theoretically, when Mr. Gillespie is done eradicating all of the noncomplying poor people, he can send the bulldozers after the middle-class people who live in old houses he doesn't like.
Not to pick on him. The worst member was Taylor Brannon, who swept in late for the meeting clad in a cream-colored cape, silk scarf, diamond stickpin, huge gold watch and shoes that looked like spats. He was especially energized during the van ride by rumors that a new chairman may be appointed soon. Back at City Hall, he was eager to show his leadership acumen by sternly warning the audience, "No responding, no clapping, no loud heckling. That is a distraction to the process."
Even though they weren't. Even though he was not the chair and it was not his role. Then again, the chairwoman, Alice F. Cox, did appear to be having trouble staying awake.
At the end of a long day, the Dallas Board of Adjustment voted unanimously to begin the process by which the mobile home park will be bulldozed.
And when the people of Ash Creek Mobile Home Park have all been evicted, when some of them are sleeping in boxes and wandering the streets of downtown Dallas, what will the view be like from the attic windows of the puffed-up houses on that very last street in the gated community? I know what I think people will see from there:
"The air will be filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste, and moaning as they go. Every one of them will wear chains like Marley's Ghost; some few (they might be guilty governments) will be linked together; none will be free. Many were personally known to the Board of Adjustment in their lives. The board members are quite familiar with one old ghost, in a white waistcoat, with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle, who cries piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant, whom it sees below, upon a door-step. The misery with them all will be, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and have lost the power for ever."
(Apologies to Charles Dickens, who comes to mind more often these days.)